Barn Buddy - Working Cat Program

Need a barn buddy?

Barn Buddies are cats that are independent, self-sufficient animals.  They are also known as “mousers” and “rodent managers.” They typically prefer to live outdoors, seeking accommodations in a barn or shed with a steady supply of food and water. Some Barn Buddies, with patience and kindness, will learn to trust over time and become affectionate and loving companions.

Sometimes rescue cats, for various reasons, can not live as indoor companion pets. These cats become part of our Barn Buddy (Working Cat) program. They are in desperate need of a home on a farm, horse stable, warehouse, or other suitable outdoor location. This program offers them a chance at a safe life that is best for them.

Candidates in our Barn Buddy Program include:

  • Cats who were found as strays who are assessed to be unsuitable for an indoor only life. These cats may have demonstrated behavior such as being overly feisty, extremely shy/fearful of people, extremely independent, or shown other behavior indicating an indoor only life would not be suitable for them.
  • Owner surrendered cats who lived or spent considerable time outside who are unable to adapt to indoor life.
  • Friendly cats with litter-box issues.
  • Friendly cats that have spent their life outdoors.
  • Semi-feral adults too shy and fearful of people.

Before going home, your new working cat will be:

  • Spayed or neutered
  • Vaccinated
  • Dewormed
  • Treated for fleas
  • Vet checked

**Microchips  - Barn Buddies can be microchipped.  A microchips is $25. 

Barn Buddy Cat Adoption Fee $20


Barn Buddy-Working Cats are happiest living primarily outdoors. Barn Buddies may be too scared or nervous to live comfortably around people in a confined environment. Some may be nervous when confined while others may have litter box avoidance issues, but that does not mean there is not a place for them in our community.

Others may have had problems with house soiling. While these cats might not make ideal house pets, they still have a place. As working cats, these cats can live comfortably in a barn, stable, warehouse, or workshop while providing companionship, and potentially expert, free rodent control.

Most importantly, you will have a support system of shelter staff who will answer any questions about caring of your working cat. It may be better to have two cats if there will be little human interaction. They can keep each other warm and look out for one another. However, this is only true if they get along. Some cats just prefer to be alone.

Some of these cats are very people friendly, some start out shy and fearful but over time become friendly, and others might remain fearful of people and prefer the company of other cats. To the extent possible, we try to find a good match between Barn Buddy cats and their adopters. In most cases, we recommend that at least two cats are adopted together – ideally cats who have formed a bond or at least get along with each other. They can provide each other with companionship and help keep one another safe, plus they can snuggle together to help keep warm. Adopting two or more cats together also helps to ensure a successful transition where they accept and stay at their new home.

As an adopter of a Barn Buddy - you will need to provide the following:

  • Food, water, and shelter for your working cat.
  • Your barn cat’s new home will need to be approximately 500 feet from the road, and you must provide hay or blankets for your working cat to cuddle up in for warmth.  These things will help provide your cat with a warm place to get away from the weather and potential predators. 
  • Also, while initial vaccinations are given by the Lewis Clark Animal Shelter, your cat will still need to be kept current on vaccines, flea treatment, and deworming.

Thank you for your support in this lifesaving program for the Barn Buddy-Working Cats of our community.

Interested in a Barn Buddy – Working Cat? Contact the shelter today (208) 746-1623 or